The last couple of years have witnessed a major resurgence in the concert industry, with touring as the biggest source of income for top earners in the US music business. The sheer volume of live concerts is one of the biggest indicators. Established artists like Bon Jovi and U2 were joined at the top of the money making lists by newcomers like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, all clamoring to attract the attention of music loving fans looking for a good night out.
But in this congested and increasingly competitive market, how do you make your concert venue stand out from the crowd? What tactics can you employ in your event planning, to make your venue the ‘go-to’ place for entertainment?
Grab their attention
We all know the old saying about having seven seconds to make a first impression-and the same can be said for your concert venue. You have a limited opportunity to grab the attention of your clients and consumers, so you need to think big.
There are many options when it comes to eye-catching outdoor advertising-banners, flags, display boards, stands, are all regularly used at live events. A strong look and consistent feel is essential if you want to use these tools to really tell the story of your event-we’ve all been at events where the materials are just a mish mash of visuals and just don’t make an impact.
Consistency is also essential in your pre-event advertising and all supporting marketing materials. You need a strong, coherent strategy deployed well in advance-it is absolutely fundamental to generate interest. As prolific marketing guru, Steuart Henderson Britt once said,
” Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
Your choice of advertising will naturally depend on the demographic of the people attending the event, the type of concert venue being promoted, and the budget at your disposal. Targeting your particular sales audience is essential if you are going to maximize the gross potential available.
Spring out some sky dancers
If you really want to make a statement, why not think even bigger and go for a novel option like sky dancers? There’s no way your clients will be able to miss these hilarious tall, hollow inflatable figures, which move around as if they are actually real! Considered now as a major attention getter for businesses and large events, these versatile ‘creatures’ come in a range of sizes-anything from a few meters high to over 60 ft high!
Also known as sky guys, stick men, dancing sky men and lots of other names, sky dancers are increasingly popular, because they are very noticeable, easy to set up, affordable and most of all fun. Sky dancers are also well-received because they offer so much potential in terms of customization, whether to reflect your particular advertising needs or seasonal requirements.
Sky dancers work especially well because the way they move naturally attracts your eye, diverting the consumer’s attention and encouraging them to find out more. The Latin origins of the word ‘advertising’ actually mean, ‘turn toward,’-if sky dancers don’t make your clients ‘turn toward’ your product or idea, then quite frankly, nothing will.
Amplify the experience
Quality and size will speak volumes at your concert venue, helping you out perform competitors. During the difficult recent economic times, consumers have become even more demanding in terms of what they get in return for their hard earned buck. First impressions are great, but if you want repeat business, clients need to leave the event feeling they got what they paid for-and maybe even a few things they didn’t!
A large stage with high quality video screens and professional sound and lighting is pretty much a basic requirement these days. You also need to make sure the comfort factor is high with hospitality and restroom facilities of a superior standard.
Also consider offering additional benefits, such as VIP packages where guests can access a special seating area, enjoy complimentary refreshments and have the chance to meet the artist performing. Backstage passes are particularly popular, as these allow guests to see the action from behind the scenes, and make them feel more part of the event. These extra ‘perks’ can generate a healthy additional revenue stream for the event, and make your live concert more lively. They can also form part of the pre-event advertising, as small numbers of passes can be made available as competition prizes, a useful way of promoting the event.
Integrate some interaction
A lively event, and one which will draw the crowds, needs to be fun and engaging. Giving customers the chance to interact with what is going on, can only add to the customer experience and build a loyal following who’ll want to come back for more.
Incorporating social, mobile and web technologies into your event, can take it to the next level. Products like Zerista, quickmobile and eventmobi, can make this process quick, straightforward and effective. Many of these apps also allow you to measure the impact of the branding, so you can easily see the return on your investment.
Other options to energize your event include visual novelties such as jugglers, magicians, mime artists, stilt walkers, showgirls and maybe even fire breathers. You could also use your sky dancers here to form a backdrop to a novelty act-many have built in lighting which helps them ‘stand out’ even more. No wonder they have proved popular at major events like the World Cup and premium venues such as Disney and Universal theme parks.
Always want more
A lively event should feel like it has the potential to go on and on without losing momentum-and that’s essentially what you need to do with your concert venue. Using the tips and techniques suggested above can help you make the most of what you have for now, but you need to keep things fresh if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Keep on the lookout for new ways to advertise, new opportunities for interaction and continue to build your brand. Always want more… and always leave your customers wanting more!
Daniel Evans is a writer and former events co-ordinator. Having worked with top event agencies he has learnt the tricks of the trade, and now shares his insider knowledge with event planning newbies. Daniel is a big fan of sky dancers and would very much like the opportunity to use these exciting promotional creatures in the not too distant future!